16 May, 2021

Dismantle The Iron Maiden

A law alone isn't enough to make the State stop playing torturer

Illustration by Sorit
Dismantle The Iron Maiden
It is der ayad, but exactly how durust ayad, we can't yet say. It's good that after 11 years of dithering the government has actually drafted the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2008. It's taken all this time since India signed the United Nations Convention against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Punishment. The draft bill prescribes a maximum punishment of 10 years to police and other government servants responsible for causing grievous hurt or danger to the life, limb or health of any person. The proposed legislation is quite wide in its scope, covering torture on the grounds of race, religion, place of birth, residence, language, caste and community. Public servants torturing anybody for extracting information or extra-judicial confession will be punishable under the proposed legislation. Inflicting mental torture would also become punishable.

The draft meets internationally recognised standards of human rights and civilised jurisprudence, but requires really independent panels committed to investigating complaints with...

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